Rotherham United: Warnock's sole stumbling block
Only the nagging desire to become a record-breaker has stopped Neil Warnock from already committing his future to Rotherham United.
The veteran boss has put his love affair with the Millers on hold as he decides whether to stay in charge next season after leading their march from the drop zone to Championship survival since his February arrival.
He says he would be happy to remain at New York Stadium, but the prospect of winning an eighth promotion - more than any other manager in the English game - means he could be tempted away by one of the vacancies likely to emerge at bigger clubs in the second tier.
“If it wasn’t for that, I would have signed for Rotherham, make no mistake,” said the 67-year-old whose short-term deal expires at the end of May.
“I am enjoying it. I love it. I love the fans, I love the club, I love the chairman. It’s got all the attributes.”
The Millers end their campaign tomorrow at Hull City and players and fans are desperately hoping it won’t be their manager’s final match in charge.
Warnock had originally said he expected to make a decision by the end of next week, but he now expects an announcement will come later in the month.
He has taken clubs up seven times - a figure equalled only by Graham Taylor and Dave Bassett - and believes Rotherham aren’t yet ready to operate in the upper echelons of the table.
“Technically, we aren’t going to be anywhere near the top of the league, I have been honest about that,” he said. “Rotherham has got everything I need regarding satisfaction. It’s just the eighth promotion. It’s dangling like a carrot.
“If I decide to stay and we agree everything financially then I would knuckle down and get on with it.”
Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest are already looking for new bosses and, potentially, sides like Middlesbrough, Derby County, Ipswich Town and Wolves could require fresh appointments in the near future.
“I could win promotion with most clubs in the Championship,” Warnock said. “There are six or seven clubs I think I could win promotion next year.”
Talks between him and chairman Tony Stewart have begun and these are expected to gather pace after tomorrow’s showdown at the KC Stadium.
“We have started talking, not just about myself but about the infrastructure and things like that,” Warnock said. “He has been very supportive. We are not in agreement yet, but we are going to talk again next week, probably the middle of next week.
“We’ve talked a little bit about myself but we haven’t agreed anything yet financially.”
Meanwhile, Rotherham will check on the fitness of left-back Joe Mattock and central midfielder Richie Smallwood ahead of tomorrow’s clash against the Tigers, who are guaranteed a play-off spot, and there could be a place on the bench for young winger Darnelle Bailey-King.